On the Common App, there is a section asking for the GPA scale of your high school. If I entered my cumulative weighted GPA, then should my GPA scale be 4 or 5? Originally, I thought that I should choose 5 because I decided to report my weighted GPA, but the guide on this school (not my school) website directs you to enter weighted GPA, but choose 4 as the GPA scale?

I am an undergraduate student in computer science, and I have been working as an undergraduate researcher in theoretical computer science for 7 months. There was this problem that my supervisor mentioned, and I worked on it for a while. But I only managed to solve a sub-case of the problem, which didn’t interest my supervisor at that time. However, he wanted me to write a manuscript about it anyway. I put a lot of effort into writing it, but he didn’t bother to read it. And we have moved on to other things.

A week ago, my supervisor called me, and he said that he found an interpretation of the sub-case of I’ve solved, that economists are interested in. And he said that we can publish it in a journal. So, I was really hyped. We met the next day, to review my proof. But when I arrived, I learned that a friend of my supervisor found an implicit assumption at the beginning of my proof which was clearly wrong.

As you can imagine, I was devastated. I’ve tried to find a workaround, and fix my solution, but I’ve just found another thing that I’ve overlooked. So I’ve lost my enthusiasm and self-confidence.

However, my supervisor claims he found a completely different idea to solve the problem. He explained it to me, however it has some parts to be completed. So he wants me to write a manuscript about it and fill the gaps. However, I cannot find any motivation to do so. I am overwhelmed by the feelings of failure and anger.

I know that I should be working on my supervisor’s idea, but I’m so distracted with the mistake I’ve made. How can I overcome my mistake, and start to work again?

I’m currently working on my Master’s Thesis. The basis for that is the paper Complementarities in Trading and Information Acquisition by Goldstein and Yang from 2015.

I have to derive the model, meaning that I have to come up with the joint distribution. I know how to do it but somehow I always end up with something different for the paper. And it’s not just a different representation or that I forgot to simplify at some point.

I’d really appreciate any kind of help or rather ideas for the variance-Covariance Matrix.


I am going into my third year at university of my Math degree and have decided to undertake an independent project under the supervision of a lecturer who is, primarily, a number theorist. One of the main reasons I wanted to do this project (which includes producing a presentation and report) was for the experience.

At first discussion with my supervisor I had no clue what I wanted the project to be about so he threw out some possibilities. We ended up agreeing on the topic “solving polynomials by radicals”: charting the historical and logical development of formulae similar to the quadratic formula for cubic and quartic equations, and a why no such formula can exist for degree 5 and higher.

However, recently I came across a numberphile video with regards to the Collatz conjecture and it seemed quite interesting. I know that as a third year student I definitely do not possess the capabilities of making any sort of impact on the conjecture and that my project would have to focus on its origin and the work done on it so far but the little research I have done has piqued my curiosity.

Would it be worth it to speak to my supervisor about changing the topic? I dont want to irritate him unnecessarily.

An editor of a journal asked me to review a paper but did not provide his/her name or institution, signing the e-mail as, essentially, “Editor of …”. The e-mail seems to be based upon a template. The journal is reputable but not a top one. I cannot determine the editor’s name from public online sources or private contacts. My best guess is that the name of the author of the e-mail is very likely to belong to the list of the editors advertised on the web page of the journal. I know nobody from this list personally through I’ve read and cited some of their papers.

  1. How should the editor’s decision to stay anonymous be qualified? Was is (i) unethical, (ii) unprofessional, (iii) a bad practice?

  2. What does this tell us about the editor or the journal?

  3. I would like to know whom I am speaking to before taking any decision. What would be the most appropriate reaction from my side, if any?

Our students are asked to sign an “academic integrity” pledge with each assignment and exam, vowing that they have not given nor received unauthorized assistance on the assignment.

What (peer-reviewed) evidence is there to support the claim that these pledges make a significant impact on the rate of cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty at the university level?

I am finishing up my PhD this year and my adviser has recently recruited two new PhDs to our research group. I am the adviser’s first student. Up until this year, we have had consistent individual research meetings weekly. Now, the adviser wants to incorporate weekly group meetings in addition to individual meetings. I think this can benefit some PhDs. However, I don’t feel that these weekly group meetings will be particularly valuable to me. This is because I have a clear research agenda that is my top priority right now. I am wrapping up two manuscripts to incorporate into my dissertation, while also applying to jobs and post-docs, to finish my PhD in less than a year.

I am not discounting the importance of reading new research articles or the importance of collaboration between group members. However, I think the mismatch in PhD progression — me, a finishing PhD with several first-author manuscripts with multiple collaborators, and the 2 new students, starting to test out and find research ideas — will take away from my priority, finishing the PhD and wrapping up my thesis while also being a potentially stressful, time sink. This is tied into the fact that my adviser often has poor time management skills, allowing meetings to run for over 3 hours.

How do I tell my adviser, in a respectful manner, that I cannot attend all of the group meetings? Or, that I think prioritizing my final two manuscripts and dissertation are a more valuable use of my time?

Thank you for the advice! Let me know if I can clarify anything.

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